Nazadana, 10, sits inside a makeshift classroom in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan on January 26, 2017. Her dream is to become a soldier when she grows up so she can fight the Taliban. Ivan Flores for The National
Nazadana, 10, sits inside a makeshift classroom in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan on January 26, 2017. Her dream is to become a soldier when she grows up so she can fight the Taliban. Ivan Flores f

Now in school, Afghan girl is one step closer to achieving her dream of fighting Taliban



JALALABAD // Ten-year-old Nazdana has big ambitions.

“I want to be a soldier in the Afghan army,” she declares proudly. “My army will reclaim our village and bring peace to the people of Samarkhail [her native region].”

Nazdana is a pupil at the school for the children of internally displaced people (IDP) set up by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) outside Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province. Ironically, it is Nazdana’s status as an IDP that has enabled her to have far bigger dreams than life in her deeply conservative community in Samarkhail would have allowed.

Forced to uproot because of fighting by insurgents, Nazdana’s family have spent eight years moving from one temporary settlement to another.

Her father recently went to Iran to earn money to support the family, leaving her mother to as the decision-maker. And she decided to send three of her five daughters to the IDP school.

Nazdana and her sisters are probably the first girls in many generations of their family to get an education. The girls – 10, 12 and 13 years old – are now on a fast-track programme created by NRC for children of displaced families.

The three-year course, called Education in Emergency, aims to bring children like them up to the seventh grade and help them reintegrate into Afghanistan’s formal secondary education system.

In addition to the traditional view that educating girls is not important, those who do go to school often do not stay very long.

“While even one year of schooling can prevent or delay child marriage, and make girls literate, it usually takes more than one to three years of schooling to empower girls,” said Afghan gender activist Noorjahn Akbar. “The larger problem in Afghanistan is that while girls go to primary school, they drop out before or soon after puberty.”

Conflict in Afghanistan has driven thousands of young children out of school. Of the 250,000 Afghan refugees who were forced to return from Pakistan in the last year, an estimated 150,000 boys and girls under the age of 18 have never gone to school before.

“We are facing unprecedented levels of displaced, out-of-school children,” said William Carter, NRC’s programme director in Kabul.

The patriarchal structure of Afghan society places little value on educating girls. Between 2008 and 2012, Unicef recorded 46.4 per cent of girls attending primary school but only 21 per cent in secondary level.

Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, about 3.5 million are still not in school and nearly 70 per cent of them are girls, said Aziz Froutan, Unicef’s communications officer.

Not every village has a separate school for girls - an important consideration for a country with strict gender segregation. And the costs of education – relatively high compared to the income of poor families – means boys will always get priority over girls in education, said Mr Froutan.

But for some girls, their IDP status has actually given them access to schooling and often for the first time.

“We see quite a few families allowing their daughters to attend school for the first time. In some families, this is the first generation of daughters getting education,” Mr Carter said.

Protection from militancy and marriage is another benefit of schools for the displaced. Young boys who are not in school are prime targets for forced recruitment into militant groups while young girls staying at home are more likely to be married off early.

Research among Iraqi and Syrian women (there is none from Afghanistan) has shown that girls who make it past fifth grade are less likely to face early marriage and death during childbirth.

Nazdana’s best friend, 10-year-old Tamanna and her family fled their village in Laghma, about 50km from Jalalabad, where fighting continues. She too is the first girl in her family to go to school and now wants to be a teacher herself.

“We don’t have much there [in the village] anyway, and I’m happier here, because I’m getting an education,” Tamanna said.

For girls like them, their displacement has ironically brought an unexpected benefit.

“There is an opportunity to build a more educated female workforce hopefully, and better gender equality in the future,” Mr Carter said.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae

Emirates Cricket Board Women’s T10

ECB Hawks v ECB Falcons

Monday, April 6, 7.30pm, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

The match will be broadcast live on the My Sports Eye Facebook page

 

Hawks

Coach: Chaitrali Kalgutkar

Squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Archara Supriya, Chamani Senevirathne, Chathurika Anand, Geethika Jyothis, Indhuja Nandakumar, Kashish Loungani, Khushi Sharma, Khushi Tanwar, Rinitha Rajith, Siddhi Pagarani, Siya Gokhale, Subha Srinivasan, Suraksha Kotte, Theertha Satish

 

Falcons

Coach: Najeeb Amar

Squad: Kavisha Kumari (captain), Almaseera Jahangir, Annika Shivpuri, Archisha Mukherjee, Judit Cleetus, Ishani Senavirathne, Lavanya Keny, Mahika Gaur, Malavika Unnithan, Rishitha Rajith, Rithika Rajith, Samaira Dharnidharka, Shashini Kaluarachchi, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi, Vaishnave Mahesh

 

 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying

8 traditional Jamaican dishes to try at Kingston 21

  1. Trench Town Rock: Jamaican-style curry goat served in a pastry basket with a carrot and potato garnish
  2. Rock Steady Jerk Chicken: chicken marinated for 24 hours and slow-cooked on the grill
  3. Mento Oxtail: flavoured oxtail stewed for five hours with herbs
  4. Ackee and salt fish: the national dish of Jamaica makes for a hearty breakfast
  5. Jamaican porridge: another breakfast favourite, can be made with peanut, cornmeal, banana and plantain
  6. Jamaican beef patty: a pastry with ground beef filling
  7. Hellshire Pon di Beach: Fresh fish with pickles
  8. Out of Many: traditional sweet potato pudding
LA LIGA FIXTURES

Thursday (All UAE kick-off times)

Sevilla v Real Betis (midnight)

Friday

Granada v Real Betis (9.30pm)

Valencia v Levante (midnight)

Saturday

Espanyol v Alaves (4pm)

Celta Vigo v Villarreal (7pm)

Leganes v Real Valladolid (9.30pm)

Mallorca v Barcelona (midnight)

Sunday

Atletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid (4pm)

Real Madrid v Eibar (9.30pm)

Real Sociedad v Osasuna (midnight)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Straightforward ways to reduce sugar in your family's diet
  • Ban fruit juice and sodas
  • Eat a hearty breakfast that contains fats and wholegrains, such as peanut butter on multigrain toast or full-fat plain yoghurt with whole fruit and nuts, to avoid the need for a 10am snack
  • Give young children plain yoghurt with whole fruits mashed into it
  • Reduce the number of cakes, biscuits and sweets. Reserve them for a treat
  • Don’t eat dessert every day 
  • Make your own smoothies. Always use the whole fruit to maintain the benefit of its fibre content and don’t add any sweeteners
  • Always go for natural whole foods over processed, packaged foods. Ask yourself would your grandmother have eaten it?
  • Read food labels if you really do feel the need to buy processed food
  • Eat everything in moderation
Opening weekend Premier League fixtures

Weekend of August 10-13

Arsenal v Manchester City

Bournemouth v Cardiff City

Fulham v Crystal Palace

Huddersfield Town v Chelsea

Liverpool v West Ham United

Manchester United v Leicester City

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur

Southampton v Burnley

Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton

The Witcher - season three

Director: Various

Stars:
Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra

Rating:
3/5

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The biog

Born: Kuwait in 1986
Family: She is the youngest of seven siblings
Time in the UAE: 10 years
Hobbies: audiobooks and fitness: she works out every day, enjoying kickboxing and basketball

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

If you go

Flights

Emirates flies from Dubai to Phnom Penh with a stop in Yangon from Dh3,075, and Etihad flies from Abu Dhabi to Phnom Penh with its partner Bangkok Airlines from Dh2,763. These trips take about nine hours each and both include taxes. From there, a road transfer takes at least four hours; airlines including KC Airlines (www.kcairlines.com) offer quick connecting flights from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville from about $100 (Dh367) return including taxes. Air Asia, Malindo Air and Malaysian Airlines fly direct from Kuala Lumpur to Sihanoukville from $54 each way. Next year, direct flights are due to launch between Bangkok and Sihanoukville, which will cut the journey time by a third.

The stay

Rooms at Alila Villas Koh Russey (www.alilahotels.com/ kohrussey) cost from $385 per night including taxes.

FIGHT CARD

Featherweight 4 rounds:
Yousuf Ali (2-0-0) (win-loss-draw) v Alex Semugenyi (0-1-0)
Welterweight 6 rounds:
Benyamin Moradzadeh (0-0-0) v Rohit Chaudhary (4-0-2)
Heavyweight 4 rounds:
Youssef Karrar (1-0-0) v Muhammad Muzeei (0-0-0)
Welterweight 6 rounds:
Marwan Mohamad Madboly (2-0-0) v Sheldon Schultz (4-4-0)
Super featherweight 8 rounds:
Bishara Sabbar (6-0-0) v Mohammed Azahar (8-5-1)
Cruiseweight 8 rounds:
Mohammed Bekdash (25-0-0) v Musa N’tege (8-4-0)
Super flyweight 10 rounds:
Sultan Al Nuaimi (9-0-0) v Jemsi Kibazange (18-6-2)
Lightweight 10 rounds:
Bader Samreen (8-0-0) v Jose Paez Gonzales (16-2-2-)

Day 2, Dubai Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Pakistan’s effort in the field had hints of shambles about it. The wheels were officially off when Wahab Riaz lost his run up and aborted the delivery four times in a row. He re-measured his run, jogged in for two practice goes. Then, when he was finally ready to go, he bailed out again. It was a total cringefest.

Stat of the day – 139.5 Yasir Shah has bowled 139.5 overs in three innings so far in this Test series. Judged by his returns, the workload has not withered him. He has 14 wickets so far, and became history’s first spinner to take five-wickets in an innings in five consecutive Tests. Not bad for someone whose fitness was in question before the series.

The verdict Stranger things have happened, but it is going to take something extraordinary for Pakistan to keep their undefeated record in Test series in the UAE in tact from this position. At least Shan Masood and Sami Aslam have made a positive start to the salvage effort.

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

What is Folia?

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal's new plant-based menu will launch at Four Seasons hotels in Dubai this November. A desire to cater to people looking for clean, healthy meals beyond green salad is what inspired Prince Khaled and American celebrity chef Matthew Kenney to create Folia. The word means "from the leaves" in Latin, and the exclusive menu offers fine plant-based cuisine across Four Seasons properties in Los Angeles, Bahrain and, soon, Dubai.

Kenney specialises in vegan cuisine and is the founder of Plant Food + Wine and 20 other restaurants worldwide. "I’ve always appreciated Matthew’s work," says the Saudi royal. "He has a singular culinary talent and his approach to plant-based dining is prescient and unrivalled. I was a fan of his long before we established our professional relationship."

Folia first launched at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in July 2018. It is available at the poolside Cabana Restaurant and for in-room dining across the property, as well as in its private event space. The food is vibrant and colourful, full of fresh dishes such as the hearts of palm ceviche with California fruit, vegetables and edible flowers; green hearb tacos filled with roasted squash and king oyster barbacoa; and a savoury coconut cream pie with macadamia crust.

In March 2019, the Folia menu reached Gulf shores, as it was introduced at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where it is served at the Bay View Lounge. Next, on Tuesday, November 1 – also known as World Vegan Day – it will come to the UAE, to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach and the Four Seasons DIFC, both properties Prince Khaled has spent "considerable time at and love". 

There are also plans to take Folia to several more locations throughout the Middle East and Europe.

While health-conscious diners will be attracted to the concept, Prince Khaled is careful to stress Folia is "not meant for a specific subset of customers. It is meant for everyone who wants a culinary experience without the negative impact that eating out so often comes with."

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 3.0 twin-turbo inline six-cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed
Power: 503hp
Torque: 600Nm
Price: from Dh400,000 (estimate)
On sale: now

MATCH INFO

Champions League last 16, first leg

Tottenham v RB Leipzig, Wednesday, midnight (UAE)

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth

Rating: 3/5

The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Favourite music: Classical

Hobbies: Reading and writing

 

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

Company profile

Company name: Xare 

Started: January 18, 2021 

Founders: Padmini Gupta, Milind Singh, Mandeep Singh 

Based: Dubai 

Sector: FinTech 

Funds Raised: $10 million 

Current number of staff: 28 

Investment stage: undisclosed

Investors: MS&AD Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners, Astra Amco, the Dubai International Financial Centre, Fintech Fund, 500 Startups, Khwarizmi Ventures, and Phoenician Funds

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

Engine: 80 kWh four-wheel-drive

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 402bhp

Torque: 760Nm

Price: From Dh280,000

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo hybrid
Power: 680hp
Torque: 1,020Nm
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh530,000 (estimate)

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

At Eternity’s Gate

Director: Julian Schnabel

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaacs, Mads Mikkelsen

Three stars

Also on December 7 to 9, the third edition of the Gulf Car Festival (www.gulfcarfestival.com) will take over Dubai Festival City Mall, a new venue for the event. Last year's festival brought together about 900 cars worth more than Dh300 million from across the Emirates and wider Gulf region – and that first figure is set to swell by several hundred this time around, with between 1,000 and 1,200 cars expected. The first day is themed around American muscle; the second centres on supercars, exotics, European cars and classics; and the final day will major in JDM (Japanese domestic market) cars, tuned vehicles and trucks. Individuals and car clubs can register their vehicles, although the festival isn’t all static displays, with stunt drifting, a rev battle, car pulls and a burnout competition.

The design

The protective shell is covered in solar panels to make use of light and produce energy. This will drastically reduce energy loss.

More than 80 per cent of the energy consumed by the French pavilion will be produced by the sun.

The architecture will control light sources to provide a highly insulated and airtight building.

The forecourt is protected from the sun and the plants will refresh the inner spaces.

A micro water treatment plant will recycle used water to supply the irrigation for the plants and to flush the toilets. This will reduce the pavilion’s need for fresh water by 30 per cent.

Energy-saving equipment will be used for all lighting and projections.

Beyond its use for the expo, the pavilion will be easy to dismantle and reuse the material.

Some elements of the metal frame can be prefabricated in a factory.

 From architects to sound technicians and construction companies, a group of experts from 10 companies have created the pavilion.

Work will begin in May; the first stone will be laid in Dubai in the second quarter of 2019. 

Construction of the pavilion will take 17 months from May 2019 to September 2020.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

DUNE: PART TWO

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Timothee Chamalet, Zendaya, Austin Butler

Rating: 5/5

Know before you go
  • Jebel Akhdar is a two-hour drive from Muscat airport or a six-hour drive from Dubai. It’s impossible to visit by car unless you have a 4x4. Phone ahead to the hotel to arrange a transfer.
  • If you’re driving, make sure your insurance covers Oman.
  • By air: Budget airlines Air Arabia, Flydubai and SalamAir offer direct routes to Muscat from the UAE.
  • Tourists from the Emirates (UAE nationals not included) must apply for an Omani visa online before arrival at evisa.rop.gov.om. The process typically takes several days.
  • Flash floods are probable due to the terrain and a lack of drainage. Always check the weather before venturing into any canyons or other remote areas and identify a plan of escape that includes high ground, shelter and parking where your car won’t be overtaken by sudden downpours.

 

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